Have you wondered just how clean (or dirty) the water that we swim in at the Newey is?
We will soon find out after a group of local school students undertook a range of water tests yesterday at the Newey Recreation Area as part of a field day hosted by Cobar Shire Council.
Cobar Public School students in Years 5 and 6 along with students from Years 9 and 10 at Cobar High School carried out a number of practical exercises to examine the water quality, identify noxious weeds and map the area around the Newey during their field day activities yesterday.
Funding from the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust enabled council to offer the series of local field days which are aimed at educating local students on water quality, noxious weeds and stormwater drainage.
Council’s noxious weeds officer Melissa Gunn headed up yesterday’s field day with assistance from Council’s environmental health officer Stephen Poulter and Trainee Civil Engineer Technician Adrienne Pierini, other council and Peak Gold Mines staff.
“Council’s Planning and Environmental Services Department have been examining ways to include local students in understanding various roles that council officers undertake,” Ms Gunn said.
“This project will provide them with a better understanding of their local environment, how it is managed and who by.
“An opportunity for funding from the State Government was made available early last year to undertake an environmental education project, which Cobar Shire was successful in obtaining.”
Ms Gunn said additional funding for the noxious weeds and mapping component of the field day came from a Western Local Land Services grant.
During water testing undertaken yesterday at the Newey students captured data related to water quality, turbidity, pH, temperature and salinity and also looked at some other characteristics to determine overall levels of water quality.
“This initial testing will capture baseline data which will be compared to future tests undertaken over the next 12 months to identify whether water quality has improved and if it hasn’t, and the possible reasons why,” Ms Gunn said.
The field day is part of a 12 month project focusing on environmental education with more field days planned around stormwater drainage, rehabilitating with erosion matting and native plants.
“The whole project is being undertaken in collaboration with Local Land Services, Cobar Primary and High School, Peak Gold Mines and has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust,” Ms Gunn said.